Einstein Alley: the Good News Bears

Here’s some good news for a change. At an informal get together for Central Jersey tech entrepreneurs, I kept running into guys whose companies are doing quite well, thank you, in part because their particular technologies are in high demand.

This group of entrepreneurs has been hanging out together for several years. The almost monthly happy-hour style meetings usually offer panels, speakers, and plenty of helpful networking. For this January party, a buffet at Charlie Brown’s in Kingston, it was all chat.

They call themselves the Einstein’s Alley Entrepreneurs Collaborative, not to be confused with the official Einstein’s Alley organization that evolved from meetings convened by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt and is now headed by Katherine Kish and Lou Wegman. The official organization certainly works with entrepreneurs, but has no exclusivity..

In contrast the collaborative’s founders, Steven Georges (former CFO of Princeton Server Group, sold to Telvue) and John Romanowich (founder of SightLogix) wanted to create the ambience, much admired, of a Silicon Valley bar, where insiders gathered and ideas got drawn on the back of a napkin. Steven and John keep the group small and focused.

Its mission statement: to be a Central NJ network of
entrepreneurs and service providers to entrepreneurs, built by entrepreneurs
for entrepreneurs. Says Georges: “It is not sponsored by any group, and we maintain a
culture of mutual trust and support by not allowing anyone to use our
network to sell anything to anyone.”

New members must be invited by someone who is already a member. Reporters (me) were welcomed at these gatherings, but the proceedings were off the record. Sometimes I did stories on people I met there, but never on the meeting itself.

So I didn’t go to the party thinking I would write about it. But I did take some photos. I kept running into interesting stories – and now I have dispensation to reveal their source. Here are some of the Good News Bears.

Art Suckewer, founder of Knite Inc. on Forrestal Road. His 12-year-old company has what Detroit wants – a Kinetic Spark Ignition System that produces a faster and more complete fuel burn.

Bob Gupta, CEO of Venaca at 4390 Route 1 North. Gupta moved this company to 4390 Route 1 North in order to do a turnaround. It does digital asset management systems – to store, search, edit, share and distribute content — across multiple distribution platforms.

Tor Dybest, CFO of HDlogix in Edison. Here’s another firm smack in the middle of the digital video revolution.

Bob Dombrowski, business development manager of the materials science division of EMSL Analytical Inc. in Westmont, NJ. It provides materials testing, characterization, and forensic laboratory services for commercial, industrial, regulatory, and law enforcement clients. One of its competitors, closer to home, is Chilmark Technology on Plainsboro Road, also doing well. Apparently no other companies do what they do.

Others are upbeat. An entrepreneur who can’t be named, because he goes to work every day on Washington Road, has started a mobile device software consulting firm, Radix2Solutions (Hugh@Radix2Solutions.com). That
website went live in January.

To get an invitation, check out the photos to see if you know someone in the group. Also attending were Rick Ober of Charis Pharmaceuticals, Doug Dixon (www.manifest-tech.com) who writes cover stories for U.S. 1 Newspaper, Lloyd George CPA of Financial Architecture, Stuart Malakoff of Merrill Lynch, Jeffrey Salton of UBS, Joanne Gere of Bioscience Collaborative, Kevin Howard of Oldwick Consulting, Bob Nicastro, Jeremy Kestler, an e-learning consultant, Dick Woodbridge (now of Fox Rothschild) and Nicholas Stevens of Siemens Communication. Or e-mail sgeorges3@comcast.net

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